Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Church of Silence

My friend used to stay home from church sometimes just to get a little space. I confess, to my shame, that I judged her for not "being in church every time the doors are open." Now that my kids are older, and there is noise CONSTANTLY at my house, I am wiser. Today my family is at church, and I stayed home. The hour of silence uninterrupted by arguing, whining, demands and responsibilities is the best form of worship I can imagine. I know it can't be my church home every week, but today my heart exults in listening to the rain and the quiet. Shhh. The service has started . . .

Mac Knocks Another One Out of the Park

I love Third Day. Talk about a finger on the pulse of what it means to be alive and to struggle with faith. Check them and other artists out at Weekend Top 25. Cry Out To Jesus Words by Mac Powell / Music by Third Day To everyone who's lost someone they love Long before it was their time You feel like the days you had were not enough when you said goodbye And to all of the people with burdens and pains Keeping you back from your life You believe that there's nothing and there is no one Who can make it right There is hope for the helpless Rest for the weary Love for the broken heart There is grace and forgiveness Mercy and healing He'll meet you wherever you are Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on They lost all of their faith in love They've done all they can to make it right again Still it's not enough For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains You try to give up but you come back again Just remember that you're not alone in your shame And your suffering When your lonely And it feels like the whole world is falling on you You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus Cry to Jesus To the widow who struggles with being alone Wiping the tears from her eyes For the children around the world without a home Say a prayer tonight (c) 2005 Consuming Fire Music / ASCAP. All rights administered by EMI CMG Publishing. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Pincushion Challenge


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Julie of Booga J and Black Sheep Bags fame has posed a challenge on her blog--a Pincushion Challenge. This month's theme is Fruit. I pondered, shall I make a new pincushion? I don't really need one, and I don't want any diversions from my knitting. Then I envisioned a cute knit/felted pincushion. I'm noodling on one. It might be a challenge with the Use What You Have philosophy I am trying to espouse (at the end of the month--maybe mine will be UWYH year). But some black strawberries (what they really look like in my fridge anyway) or some green whatevers might be cute. I'll keep noodling, or should I say rolling ideas around in my melon?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Riddle

by Jack and a classmate when told to describe something outside in poetry form: It's bright green, and orange, and grows in the ground, And if you're lucky, more than 2 will be found. They've got a weird song named after them, It's sung by a fellow who's name is Tiny Tim. It's in front of a wall paved with some bricks, And in between bushes with lots of green pricks. 3 of them are extremely tall, But one hasn't grown yet it's still very small. And right behind them, but not back to the wall, There's a bright yellow bush with sticks leaves and all. You'll find them on this street, by the elementary school, In summer, they're pretty, like diamonds or jewels. Inside of them, it's dark green and yellow, Outside, the colors are bright, but inside they're mellow. We'll give you a hint, they're surrounded by wood chips, If you haven't guessed yet, we'll tell you . . . They're tulips!

The Ballad of the Guy Who Works Really Hard

by Jack, age 10 This is a poem, a poem by me, A very good poem, as you shall soon see. The man you see is a car repair tuner, His name, his name, is Jake P. Hayes, Jr. He works really hard, all day and all night. And his 5 o'clock shadow could give you quite a fright! He owns a Ford pick-up from twenty-oh-two, He calls it the Cockroach, cuz' it's the color of poo. He takes it to the carwash 'bout every sixth week, But some time before that it starts to reek. He went to college in Boston Massachusetts, He has a degree, he's just tryin' not to lose it. His best friend's name, why it's Alex D. Moss, And he offered him a job at the Village Car Wash! It's a good-payin' job, don't get me wrong, And the Cockroach could use a bath before long! But Jacob's a handyman, works good on cars, He can fix any car, maybe even yours! So he turned down the job offer, so that was that, And he went home to see his kitten, Jinkie T. Pratt. He loves Italian food, pizza'll do fine, He eats many pizzas, from two up to nine! He was born some day 'round June time, Friday, I think, So that leaves the day as the missing link. He lives in Chicago, on State Street and Main, Complex 100, Apartment 3A. He grew up near Seattle, with two sisters and mom, His dad was not with them, he was long gone. Well Dad, poor guy, he caught a high fever, And that was the end of Jake P. Hayes, Senior. When he moved away, he bought a fat cat, And that was the father of Jinkie T. Pratt! So Jake wasn't lonely, cuz Jink's lively and fun, So you know Jake's happy, and my poem's done. *** Note from Jack's fifth grade teacher-- Jack was given a picture of a person to write about. He chose to write a poem and did a fantastic job! I am so proud of him! ***Note from Jack's mother-- Is anyone else thinking Richard Corey? Richard Corey WHENEVER Richard Cory went down town, We people on the pavement looked at him: He was a gentleman from sole to crown, Clean favored, and imperially slim. And he was always quietly arrayed, 5 And he was always human when he talked; But still he fluttered pulses when he said, "Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked. And he was rich—yes, richer than a king, And admirably schooled in every grace: 10 In fine, we thought that he was everything To make us wish that we were in his place. So on we worked, and waited for the light, And went without the meat, and cursed the bread; And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, 15 Went home and put a bullet through his head. Edwin Arlington Robinson. 1869–

You Knit What?

Found a funny website that rips on the ugly designs from yarn companies/designers: You Knit What?. My kids thought I was insane because I was laughing so hard. Four-letter word and VERY ugly knitting warning.

And you thought your dad was cool

Well, mine's the coolest. Doc Hayes, know to his family as Dr. P, Emeritus, is a retired Reading Specialist and former Dean of Education of Brandon University in Manitoba Canada. He spends his retirement traveling the North American West and sharing his love of words and the Old West with kindred spirits. He is showcased this month at waco belle, a Cowboy Poetry website. Yes, he is just as handsome as his picture, and truly one of the nicest, smartest, deepest and coolest guys I know. All my friends are jealous that I have the best Dad. Thanks, God.

A Day without Lewis is like a Day without Sunshine

from Alice in Wonderland, Chapter 10 So they began solemnly dancing round and round Alice, every now and then treading on her toes when they passed too close, and waving their forepaws to mark the time, while the Mock Turtle sang this, very slowly and sadly: “Will you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail, “There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail. See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance! They are waiting on the shingle--will you come and join the dance? Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance? Will you, won’t you, will you, won’ t you, won’ t you join the dance? “You can really have no notion how delightful it will be When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!” But the snail replied, “Too far, too far!” and gave a look askance-- Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance. Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance. Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance. “What matters it how far we go?” his scaly friend replied. “There is another shore, you know, upon the other side. The further off from England the nearer is to France-- Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance. Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance? Will you, won’ t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance ?” “Thank you, it’s a very interesting dance to watch,” said Alice, feeling very glad that it was over at last: “and I do so like that curious song about the whiting!” “Oh, as to the whiting,” said the Mock Turtle, “they--you’ve seen them, of course?” “Yes,” said Alice, “I’ve often seen them at dinn--” she checked herself hastily. “I don’t know where Dinn may be,” said the Mock Turtle, “but if you’ve seen them so often, of course you know what they’re like.” “I believe so,” Alice replied thoughtfully. “They have their tails in their mouths--and they’re all over crumbs.” “You’re wrong about the crumbs,” said the Mock Turtle: “crumbs would all wash off in the sea. But they have their tails in their mouths; and the reason is--” here the Mock Turtle yawned and shut his eyes. “Tell her about the reason and all that,” he said to the Gryphon. “The reason is,” said the Gryphon, “that they would go with the lobsters to the dance. So they got thrown out to sea. So they had to fall a long way. So they got their tails fast in their mouths. So they couldn’t get them out again. That’s all.”

Ain't it the Truth?

Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote The droghte of March hath perced to the roote And bathed every veyne in swich licour, Of which vertu engendred is the flour; 5 Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth Inspired hath in every holt and heeth The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne, And smale foweles maken melodye, 10 That slepen al the nyght with open eye- (So priketh hem Nature in hir corages); Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages Nobody said it better than Chaucer.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Cedar & Mint Soap

Hoodathunkit? I never would have put cedar and mint together, but the folks at Bare Earth did, and it's great. I've been a liquid soap convert for years. So much so that my kids "literally" did not know what a bar of soap was, "literally." I think Bare Earth might be calling me back to bar soap. Though I usually give all my bar soap to my dear friend Deborah, she might have to fight me for this one.

Thank You Cards

Like little black dresses, yarn, shoes, handbags and gel pens, one can never have too many thank you cards. Where's the richness in life if we aren't grateful? And Mo from froy and olo makes being thankful fun. She's a knitter, so she must be a great lady, and she's even participating in Secret Pal 8. I hope she's my buddy, 'cause she has an inside track on gifts people want. Check out her website. Lots of fun. Caveat: Any ugliness in the picture is my fault, not Mo's. Photography, sadly, is not my strong suit. Neither is cleaning up coffee rings and kitty footprints.

Warm Vanilla Sugar Cookie Reed Diffuser

First on my list is the Warm Vanilla Sugar Cookie Reed Diffuser from mahleewan. She makes the diffusers as an alternative to candles. The fragrance is really nice, not overpowering. A big plus for allergy sufferers who can't use incense. Even the container the diffuser comes in is pretty! She also does special orders; I told her that CK Euphoria is my favorite perfume, and she can make a skin scrub that smells just like it. Hmmmm. Good Mother's Day present for myself. :) She also makes jewelry just itching to be worn. The coffee cup is in the picture for perspective and reveals my love of coffee and my failure to remove mug rings and kitty footprints from the windowsill.

I'm the first winner!

My kids, when they were little, used to rejoice when they had a contest. One would be the "first winner," and the other one would be the "second winner." I had to bite my tongue not to say, "The other name for the second winner is the LOSER!" But I digress (maybe that should be the name of my blog). I'm actually the 37th winner! And this time, for once, it means I'm not a loser! There is a group of amazing indie artists on the Web who have joined forces to show their great creations. I found them here: happilyhandmadegiveaway. The contest has ended now, and I'm happy to say I was gift basket #37 winner. I've never won anything so fabulous in my life! Amy Peters of amypetersstudio emailed me April 15th (what a great tax day for a change!) to let me know I'd won. I had my basket in hand by Tuesday, April 18th. Impressive. And it was everything they promised--and better. No catch! I dove into the box of goodies, and like a dufus, forgot to photograph the spoils. Here's the pic from HH's website: Now my plan is to show off my prizes one by one and brag on the neat artists who shared their goods so willingly. I sent a personal email to each one who provided a gift--not to toot my horn, that's just good manners--, and I'm happy to say I received a flood of gracious responses from these indie artists. So visit their webstores and buy, buy, buy! The gifts I received are beautifully designed, wonderfully creative and expertly crafted. I love quality. And check their websites for more contests. There's another one already going on--seekindie. Maybe you'll be the first winner, or the second, or the thirty-seventh.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Show Us Your Stuff Challenge!

I sent out a group e-mail to everyone privileged enough to be in my addresss book. My challenge is this: send me a photo (or if you want, the real thing, but I get to keep it) of what you do--do you write beautiful verse? I'll post it. Do you decorate cakes that are too pretty to eat? I'll post them (and then eat them). Knit like Mme Defarge? I'll post it. Carve wood like Michelangelo did marble? Send me a photo, and it's on. Then the 2.3 people that read my blog (hi mom) can see it and marvel at your talent, your perspicacity, and your amazing wonderfulness. If you have a weblink, email or phone number to sell your wares, I'll include that. Let's network and flood the world with our cool beans stuff. You know you rock and you know you want everyone to know it. Come on, everyone's doing it. ;)

Another Moral to the Story

Earlier this afternoon, I stood up abruptly from the couch where I was working to yell and swear at the cat for knocking a 25-cent candle off the table. I scared the dog who jumped off the couch in a frenzy and knocked 2K worth of computer and camera equipment onto the floor. I started yelling and swearing at him, and then I realized he had only jumped up because I was yelling and swearing at the cat. Moral to the story? Don’t yell and swear, or if you do, get your equipment out of harm's way first.

Knot in any way wanting

Nods to Otis, my baby brother, for the name of my newly finished Moebius creation. I guess Moebius Malabrigo Celtic Stonework Knot is a bit of a mouthful. I showed the felted bag earlier in my postings, and took it to lunch to show my friend, and she asked to buy it. My dilemmer was to find a way to cover the snap backing. So I ordered several of Nicky Epstein's books on embellishments (from some vaguely remembered skit I want to yell "EMBELLISHMENT!" when I type that). Nicky Epstein's Knitted Embellishments from Interweave Press held the answer. It's the Celtic Stonework Knot which took me quite a while to figure out how to knot, but I unpacked the secret by copying the page, pinning the i-cord down on the diagram and following the weaving step by step (only backwards). Here is the finished product, and fabulous, if I do say so myself. Gock graciously shared his Celtic drawing stash, and I am eager to emblazon the world with celtic i-cord.

The Moral to the Story is . . .

My nine-year old daughter was angry at being treated unkindly by someone (probably her big brother), and with motherly wisdom, I asked her what Jesus told us to do in the Bible. She looked at me blankly, and I primed the pump by saying, “He told us to turn the other . . . “ “Chin,” she finished. Ah, I thought, a moral for the Baptists of the world. *When I told my father this story, he told me I was evil. I'm going to take that as a compliment.

Fringe Benefits

I went to a new LYS today. As I read on another knog, I felt like I was cheating. But then I rationalize, and rightly so, that they offer different things than my beloved Knitche in Downers Grove. Like CUTE stitch markers for $2. It's called Fringe, and it's such a fun place. I stuck with my deal with myself not to buy yarn (w i t h d r a w l), but I bought two patterns. Yeah, it's cheating, but I will use them because they are great. The website is www.fringeknitting.com. What I love about creativity is the different ways it manifests itself. Kathy's style at Knitche is to organize the yarn by Brand and also by weight/fiber. Nancy and Veronica at Fringe (I met Nancy today; she's lovely) organize by color. It's like my favorite purse store--arranged by color. Speaking of purses, I probably should blog about those too. Later.

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful

Spoiler alert: If feet gross you out, don't read on. If you have a foot fetish, go away, you sicko. I just used my birthday pedicure (finally!) today, and I'm gorgeous (as Pat from SNL would say)!!! Here are my pert and lovely toesies, and I bet you can't even tell which one was broken, because I couldn't even. I am a porcelain goddess my pedicurist told me (no potty jokes, guys). She is Sherri at Lifetime Fitness Spa in Warrenville, IL. 630-791-2224 The color is (I am not making this up) Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ. A sick name, a fun color.

To cleanse the knitting palette

Jinx, aka Tinkerbell and Jasper, aka Charles P. Twuckmeister the Third A little kitty sherbet for you. I love my kitties. All I have left to do now with Jack's sweater is block it. I'm also almost done my Alida (South African merino bag). And I've started a new shawl, but I think I don't have enough yarn. Call it a leap of faith . . . Did I mention I love my kitties? Velvet, aka Mister Kitty, Chickit, and Beelzebub

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Pea-see de Resistance (almost done)

Here is the Jack sweater finally completed. It still needs a hood string (if that's not too girly for him), then stitching up the hood where the drawstring goes, and then blocking. It's made from the Knitting Pure and Simple Children's Tunic (232) pattern. I used 6+ skeins of Chunky Misti Alpaca in dark grey (color 403), one skein of the Misti in French Blue and a red of a similar weight yarn but not Misti (I can't find the label). It's very soft, and when it's blocked, I think the shape will be good. Jack likes it, but complained it was itchy when I first had him try it on. I choked back a scream, thinking of the time and money spent, but the second time he tried it on, it got a thumbs up. When he is too big for it, I can pass it down to Alana or, the benefit of growing kids, wear it myself. My LYS lady said I should take it out of the safe to let him wear it and not let anyone wash it but me. True, true, this is not a felting project. Although I really resist the thought of naming my projects, like other knoggers do, this will be the Jack. When I go on to name other projects, I'll have to show my rebellious streak and call them things like Stinky Cheese or Warty Foot.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Button button who's got the button


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Secret Yarn Buddies

When I read knogs (knitting blogs), I feel jealous that the knittee has just received a package from her secret pal with cool yarn or funky stitch markers or some such lavish treat. What about me? I have thought more than once. I like yarn, I like presents, I like secret pals. How does one go about getting a secret pal? So I did the only thing a girl can do: I googled. And serendipity smiled upon me. I found not only one, but two yarn exchanges that are just starting now. So I did the only thing a girl can go: I signed up for both. I'm already going through my stash mentally thinking about what fun yarn I can share. I'll have to wait until I get assigned my secret pals--are they lace girls, yarn snobs, Malabrigo addicts? It will all be revealed soon enough. The first Secret Pal 8, is the one I've read in knogs all over the internet. The second, One Skein Secret Pal, ties into the book One Skein by Leigh Radford (which I have ordered). I can't wait to get this party started! :) :) :) (Here I am smiling at my links.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Yeah, baby

Your Band Name is:
The Furious Sadists

my smartest of all brothers

born in 1970 told me how to add a link. i did it! i did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks, jt. and now for some links, just to practice: doc hayes my church

link

I did it!

I did it, did it, did it! I figured out how to add links to my blog sidebar!!!! I am amazing. I am so excited, I think I'll eat a brownie and/or buy some yarn or a knitting book off the internet. Oh, wait, I already did those things today. Maybe just a happy dance. I did it, I did it.

Feelin' kinda hyper

Maybe it's too much a.m. java, but I think it's the fact that I switched my browser to Firefox. Safari's great, but Firefox lets me actually add cool stuff to my Blog. She enters the 21st century. Everyone give her a hand. Next on the learning curve is how to add buttons to the sidebar and add links to my blog. CGNJL (Computer Geek/Nature J Lee--combining most of his nicknames into one acronym) would be proud of La-lee. p.s. I ordered Steven Wright's CD I have a pony, because I miss it.

A most cool Moebius offering

unfelted final product I love Cat Bordhi. Her book A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting inspired me more than any other book of late. Here is a nested Moebius trio. There is a boo-boo--the directions cautioned to have a right side of the fabric. I went against my intuition on which side was the right side, and it was wrong. Who knew my intuition was right? It hasn't had a perfect track record--kinda like Cronk's shoulder angel from The Emperor's New Groove. I love that movie! But I digress, I used Noro Kureyon (not sure which number and too lazy to look) carrying two strands together. It's much thicker and "standuppy" than the single strand, as a felted basket should be.

I got my taxes done

nanny nanny boo boo. I love Turbo Tax. Now, I will chew my nails until the return is deposited and hope I didn't make some really stupid mistake that will get me audited. I can hear my high school math teacher, Mr. Picken, in his Scottish accent chastising me for "careless mistakes." Ah, me. But the taxes are done!!!! Happy dance.

I am having a great time with this . . .

Your Famous Last Words Will Be:
"I can pass this guy."

Don't hate me because I'm Greg

I know you're jealous because you are probably Alice or Jan.
You Are Greg Brady
Outta sight! Suave and all American, you tend to be clean cut and upstanding. You're friendly with most people and a huge flirt (sometimes even with family members!).

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Get in touch with your inner European

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I'm French, although I confess to hoping I had an inner Italian.
Your Inner European is French!
Smart and sophisticated. You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.

What Type of Weather are You?

It's no surprise that I am wind. I've been called a blowhard before; I live in the Windy City; one of my favorite lines from Richard Scarry is: "The wind blew Heather down the street. Stop! cried the policeman. You are speeding! You are going too fast!"
You Are Wind
Strong and overpowering A force to be reckoned with, no one dares cross you You have the power to change everything around you You are best known for: your wrath Your dominant state: commanding

Moebius cotton handbags

The Blue Sky Cotton yarn is gorgeously soft, but it knit up much tighter than I hoped, so my daughter has a new bag. Then I used the Filo and Fili pink cotton yarn, and it came out much larger (did I use size 13 needles instead of 11?). Maybe washing it will tighten it up a bit. I did work on on a pattern stitch which I thought came out nicely--the third time.

Moebius handbags--the woolen collection

I took the Moebius Cast On class at my LYS, and I basically had it down, but I wanted to learn any tips. It was helpful, and I made my first Moebius bag. The feedback from a friend was to make some unfelted ones to sell. I have several done, now that I've ventured into cotton. It's a matter of fine-tuning the gauge, figuring out closures and deciding whether to line. Here are the results. Learning curve including basic cable stitches and patterns. I'm happy with how they turned out, and I have one sold as soon as I devise a decorative cover for the magnetic snap.

Oh yeah, and my big project--the Top-Down Cardi

The first knitting class I signed up for at Knitche (my LYS) was the Top-Down Cardigan class. I had big plans to adapt it, but it ended up being a pretty traditional cardigan. I bought my yarn on eBay, which is a no-no according to some. I ended up choosing fairly well, however. My yarn is a wool and rayon blend. Hindsight being 20-20, I'd do Malabrigo next time. So soft and gorgeous. But this sweater is done, it fits me, and I'm proud of the outcome. It awaits only some funky buttons which are coming from a lady who handmakes buttons and then sends them to Knitche. I wore it without buttons, but they will be the finishing touch.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Little Bags

I had big plans to make little bags for my friends. I'm not quite finished the project, but I'm interested to find that each of these bags (there will be four total) were knit the same size but they felted to different proportions. They are from the free pattern at Knitkit.com, Janet Scanlon's website. She has beautiful felted bags. I've purchased several of her patterns, and they are on my to-do list. This is the Special Companion bag: http://www.knitkit.com/SpecialCompanion.htm

Sunday, April 09, 2006

I'm Shetland Wool, and I'm Not Happy About It

Here's one of those infernal quizzes I can't seem to resist taking and this is as close as I can get to pasting the code, for some reason. You'll have to highlight and go there yourself. http://quizilla.com/users/bisybackson/quizzes/What%20kind%20of%20yarn%20are%20you%3F/

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Now I Get It!

I went to my LYS, Knitche, and asked for help with the second Moebius basket. Both Kathy, the owner, and Mary the knitting and math whiz looked at the directions with me. It seems that I misunderstood how to pick up the waste yarn stitches. They need to be done in rows, if not on separate needles, at least separately on circulars. Once I got the concept of "unzipping" the Moebius strip, the whole thing fell into place, and voila! My second, improved, Moebius basket from Noro Kureyon #40 single strand. It's a little floppy, so next time I'll carry two strands together. I like it, though.

First Moebius Basket

The how-to of "unzipping" the moebius strip to form the basket escaped me on this first attempt, hence the lopsided handle, but I think it's a dear little basket anyway. It's made from yarn handspun in Maine and titled "lakes and oceans." I gave it to my friend for her St. Paddy's day birthday, and I filled it with shamrocks.

Bean Having Fun

Went to Millenium Park on Michigan Avenue in Chicago to see the Bean. Not even sure of it's real name--something about clouds and views. I thought I would hate it, but actually I love the reflective, organic shape of it. Some of it was under construction, but we were not daunted on the first beautiful day of spring in the middle of Spring Break.

Blast from the Past or Setting the Bar Way too High

I dug out the sweater I knit for my DH (I think knoggers mean dear husband by this abbrev, but in my case it's departed husband). Anyhoo, I admit to being somewhat impressed with my twenty-three year old self (yikes, nineteen years ago!) for knitting this baby over the Christmas holidays of 1987. Sadly for DH, it was a one-of-a-kind gift, and any such offering at this point would be way more than a day late and a dollar short. Maybe I should felt it and make a purse or a cat bed. Better than leaving it for moth food. And chatting about my college knitting with my dear mommy today, she very kindly encouraged me by saying I had knit well at that point. She's neat. I'm glad she thinks I'm neat too. Hi Mom, thanks for nudging me. I hope to be half as awesome as you.

The Shawl I Unraveled and What Became of It

I read a knitting blog about ripping out previous knitting projects or unfinished ones which didn't match expectations. I'm only three months into my knitting obsession, and I already have plenty. She said, pardon my french, "If it ain't bitchin', rip out that stitchin'." I have to agree. So here is the photo of my half-finished prayer shawl (does that mean my prayer was half-finished?) and the Moebius bowl which came of the yarn. I moved on to the next phase of Moebius--the trifold--three crossings of the needles to get the gorgeous look. As I sat in church, itching to get home and finish my trifold project, I realized that the logo of my church (http://www.communitychristian.org/) exactly matched the top of the bowl. Maybe I'll have to make one for the pastor. Somehow I don't think his delight will be as great as mine was. But the symmetry of the moment gave me a quiet thrill. Here's the logo, see the similarity?

Prayer Shawl

I started a prayer shawl for someone who is hurting, but I used wool. About halfway through the project, I realized it's not very kind to give a gift that needs to be handwashed to someone who has a hard time standing up and walking. So I frogged the whole thing, and I made a bowl with it instead. You'll see it later. I turned, against my will, to acrylic yarn which is machine washable. Lion Brand Homespun. It's actually very soft, not hard to work with, and won't break the bank. Time to give some of my knitting time to prayer and ministry. It's true knitting can be very contemplative, and what better way to use the time than to pray for others! My first shawl went to my mother's friend recovering from knee replacement surgery and then a blood clot. On the first shawl, which I frogged, I used the "Added Three Shawl" pattern from shawlministry.com. I didn't like how it looked with the Noro Kureyon which I was using, and I kept forgetting that knit stitch in the center. Argh. I went with the basic shawl pattern on the shawl site, and I think it turned out well. My friend's mom liked it, and I was honored to be praying for her. That's all that matters. Hopefully it won't shed all over her house!

The Bag I Keep Felting

This is one of my early felted bag experiments. I adapted a pattern from my knitting calendar because I wanted to use Icelandic wool. You know, the kind for giant bulky sweaters. I carried along one strand of Baby Monkey yarn at the top. The colors are great together, but the bag was huge. It shrank in height but not width. I haven't kept the best felting log, but I venture to say I've felted this ten times. I figured no one would ever want it because it is is big and bulky. Then I went for coffee with my dear friend Cindy, and she says she wants it because it exactly matches her spring coat! I'm thrilled because my first self-designed bag has found a loving home. This photo isn't the final stage, but she already has the bag. I told her I'd try magnetic closures on the bag, but I need to figure out how to cover them up once I put them on an already completed bag. I think I need to knit an extra thickness on that section of the bag. Hmmmmm.

Mini felted bag from my class

I've learned that lighter colors don't felt as well, but this Cascade 220 yellow, variegated Malabrigo (yum) and Popcorn felted just fine. I found the cutest button to go on it, too. Another bag too small for all my stuff! I used the Popcorn novelty yarn in the I-cord handle as well, and I think it created a neat effect. The little Popcorn nubblies I left hanging to felt by themselves probably need to be cut off.

Mitred square bag

I love this bag. It's fun to knit mitred squares. I used two colors of Noro Kureyon--40 and 128 (I think). The pattern calls for 5 skeins, and I used 5 or 5.5. I'm still battling with how to stiffen the bottom of the bag and whether I like the handles, but my friends loved it. One even offered to buy it! It felted beautifully, and I do love the colors. I'll definitely be working more with mitred squares. I'm even thinking about doing a rug with some yarn I bought on eBay which is really coarse and was probably meant more for weaving than knitting. For this purse, I used the free pattern at http://home.pacbell.net/kapleo/blog/domesticspherepatterns.html On the learning curve, I picked up how to do three-needle bind off. Woo hoo!

First Felted Purse

This is from a purse kit designed by Kathy Ticho of Knitche in Downers Grove, IL. www.knitche.com I guess my posts are out of order. It was my first review of knitting in the round, and I love it because it means no purling. I also worked a little intarsia, or whatever it's called, carrying yarn behind to make the checkerboard effect. And I learned to make an I-cord--not to be confused with an iPod. I've heard it stands for idiot cord, but it's fun to do and cute whatever it means. I like this bag, although it's a bit small for all the stuff I schlepp around.

Moebius Commences

I decided to take a class at my local yarn store (I guess I'm supposed to abbreviate it LYS to be a cool knit/blogger--maybe that makes me a knogger, since we're abbreviating things). It was to learn the Moebius Cast On so I could knit cool one-surfaced scarves and the like. Being ever the overachiever, I bought the book ahead of time and the extra-long needles and decided to decipher the instructions on my own. It wasn't hard, and my first attempt was actually a kitty basket/bowl which none of my kitties could fit in after I felted it. I'm happy with the outcome, and most happy that a new method of knitting is now mine. Cat Bordhi in her book 'A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting' calls it just that, magical. She's right. I have gone on to make several more Moebii, and they are a delight. My first I christened "The Gryffindor Bowl" although it could just as well be something from Dr. Seuss. Here are pre and post-felted photos.